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New Verve LPRs: Klemmer, Getz, Giuffre, Hodges & Mulligan

By Published: October 9, 2003

Gerry Mulligan often did his best work paired with other jazz greats, most notably his classic collaboration with Ben Webster. His next CD, an outing with Johnny Hodges, finds Mulligan working with another Ellington alum in a similar vein. As one would expect for a quick studio meeting, there was no time to craft complicated arrangements and thus Mulligan and Hodges stick to basic blues numbers, which Hodges infuses with his sweet, passionate playing, a sound which serves as a suitable foil for Mulligan's gruff baritone. The playing is exceptional throughout, as both exploit the simple arrangements to display their keen melodic gifts. However, the real highlight, especially for those who enjoy Hodges' more seductive, emotional work, is the two ballads. 'What's the Rush' is a spotlight for Hodges, focusing on the same romantic sensibility he brought to Strayhorn's ballads, and the closing tune 'Shady Side' is a passionate farewell that finds the duo warmly gliding through the changes. The West Coast rhythm sections fits the relaxed pace of the session superbly, contributing light, bouncy, accompaniment behind the horns. Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges will find a comfortable place in any jazz collection, particularly those who enjoyed Gerry Mulligan Meets Ben Webster.

John Klemmer-Involvement
Tracks: 1. Passion Food 2. How Deep Is the Ocean? 3. Will 'n' Jug 4. Stand In the Sun 5. My Blues 6. You Don't Know What Love Is 7. Later With Them Woes.
Personnel: John Klemmer-tenor saxophone; Sam Thomas-guitar; Melvin Jackson-bass; Wilbur Cambpell-drums; Jodie Christian-piano.

Stan Getz-Reflections
Tracks: 1. Moonlight in Vermont 2. If Ever I Would Leave You 3. Love 4. Reflections 5. A Sleepin' Bee 6. Charade 7. Early Autumn 8. Penthouse Serenade 9. Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most 10. Nitetime Street 11. Blowin' In the Wind.
Personnel: Stan Getz-tenor saxophone with orchestra and voices conducted by Lalo Schifrin and Claus Ogerman.

The Jimmy Giuffre 3-The Easy Way
Tracks: 1. The Easy Way 2. Mack the Knife 3. Come Rain Or Come Shine 4. Careful 5. Ray's Time 6. A Dream 7. Off Center 8. Montage 9. Time Enough.
Personnel: Jimmy Giuffre-clarinet, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone; Jim Hall-guitar; Ray Brown-bass.

Gerry Mulligan Meets Johnny Hodges
Tracks: 1. Bunny 2. What's The Rush 3. Back Beat 4. What It's All About 5. 18 Carrots For Rabbit 6. Shady Side.
Personnel: Gerry Mulligan-baritone saxophone; Johnny Hodges-alto saxophone; Claude Williamson-piano; Buddy Clark-bass; Mel Lewis-drums.

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